Mercedes is tipped to be interested in buying into MV Agusta and it isn’t the first time the German manufacturer has showed an interest in an Italian motorcycle company.
Back in 2010, Mercedes-AMG formed a loose partnership with Ducati and produced a couple of special edition models together. But Ducati has since been bought by Audi and now Mercedes must feel a little left out as the only major German manufacturer with no motorcycle links.
Unlike the Audi purchase of Ducati, MV Agusta is not an ailing company, although it does have limited growth potential without major investment. MV Agusta is going strong and has new product and strong sales in an otherwise poor Euro market.
The industry is now buzzing with talk of Mercedes buying into MV Agusta, although Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Public Relations and Product Communications manager Jerry Stamoulis succinctly states, “Sorry mate, I have no information.”
Regardless, there is a lot of speculation in the industry fuelled primarily by a photo that Mercedes released for the unveiling in Milan of their CLA 45 AMG (top photo). Instead of the 360-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre Four compact supercar being featured solo, it was pictured on track behind an MV Agusta F3 800. The idea was probably to convey its speed and compact stature. It did. It also fuelled a lot of speculation.
And a German-Italian union makes a lot more sense than it did back in 1939. BMW can rightly claim a lot of technological development firsts simply because it has car and motorcycle synergies. A lot of the technology has gone both ways – from car to bike and vice versa.
But above all else, having a motorcycle part of the business gives instant street creed that no amount of F1 wins, S-Class limos or McLaren supercars can bestow. Besides, BMW and Mercedes have been serious competitors for over a century and it might just come down to wanting what the other has. Rather than developing its own motorcycles, the easy way is the Audi way … buy a motorcycle company!
It comes at a good time, too, because MV Agusta has some excellent product and has also returned to World Superbike and World Supersport racing.